I’ve always been a fan of the concept of the paperless office. During my tenure at The Citren Group, my boss Kasee finally helped “seal the deal” in my love of the digital office and home. And I believe it is relatively easy to create a completely paperless environment (Evernote and a good document scanner can get you well on your way), until you factor in any interaction with others. What do you do when your digital business philosophy runs into the traditional analog world? More to the point of this article – can you digitize your business card and still effectively conduct business? Absolutely!
The first question is should you have digital business cards. Although this article is a little over a year old, I believe it explains why digital cards are a good idea quite succinctly. It lists the 6 reasons why you should replace your cards, which include my two favorites:
- Never run out of cards. Ever left your business cards at home or back at the hotel room? Started to hand out cards but didn’t have enough? Had to put a line through inaccurate information and handwrite in the new? Look through your pockets for a prospects card only to discover you lost it? Having an online card solves these problems.
- Remembering the place. The online version of your business card can tell you the location from where the card was received.
If this is something that interests you, you’ll need some sort of application to create and distribute your digital business cards. Cardcloud is easy to use and available for the iPhone and Android platforms. You can create different business cards with different contact information for just about any situation. Here’s how I use Cardcloud:
- Personal - For any friends, parents of my kids’ friends, church members, or just about anything where I need someone to have my personal phone, e-mail address, twitter and Facebook accounts.
- Business - For all current and potential clients, vendors, etc. This one includes my business e-mail, phone, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts.
- Scouting -This one includes my Scouting title, personal phone number, Scouting and e-mail address.
Now, when I’m out in the world and I run across someone I want to give my card to, I open up the iPhone Cardcloud application, tap the card I want to use and tap “Send”. I can then either have the recipient type in their e-mail address, or I can type it in for them. My business card, plus an attached v-card, are sent to the recipient. Cardcloud keeps a record of the e-mail address I sent the card to and a location where the card was given. It’s great and I automatically get a record of the recipient’s e-mail address to use later. And it’s all free.
I still keep paper business cards on me in most business situations, but having 3 different business cards on me at any given time makes sure I am ready for any situation, business or personal, to make sure I never miss a contact opportunity.